Brittney Griner: Detained basketball player in 'good condition' in Russia, US says

WNBA working with US government to free star after Russian news agency said her detention was extended until May 19

Brittney Griner, an Olympic gold medallist, has been detained in a Russian prison during a time of heightened tension between Washington and Moscow. AFP

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Detained American basketball player Brittney Griner was found to be in good condition by a US embassy official in Moscow, who was granted consular access to her on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Griner, an Olympic gold medallist and All-Star player, has been detained in a Russian prison during a time of heightened tension between Washington and Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The State Department has been pushing Russian authorities for access to Griner.

“Within the past couple hours, an official from our embassy has been granted consular access to Brittney Griner,” Mr Price said in an interview with CNN.

“Our official found Brittney Griner to be in good condition and we will continue to do everything we can to see to it that she is treated fairly throughout this ordeal.”

The WNBA said last week that it was working with the US government to have Griner freed after Russia's Tass news agency said her detention for possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil was extended until May 19.

It was not clear exactly when Griner was detained, but it was announced after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Griner won Olympic gold medals with the US national teams in 2016 and 2021 and is a seven-time All-Star. She plays centre for the Phoenix Mercury.

Updated: March 24, 2022, 4:17 AM
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